I can´t even begin to explain to you all how much I loved this week. Well, I guess I will just start from the beginning, right? Since that is always the best place to start.
So Elder Fernandes and I both gave talks last Sunday. I had mentioned something to the congregation to try to get more references from the members. We have this neat little thing called "the Golden Family" award. This goes to whichever family that gives five references to the missionaries and visits them with us. The diploma will have their names on it, along with the signiture of the Stake President and the Mission President. When I announced that at the pulpit, it seemed as if a fire had caught in some of the eyes of the members. The more prideful members wanted to be the first ones to get the diploma so they wanted to let us know that we´d have references very soon (sometimes pride is okay if it´s going to help the work haha). But that is where we started this week. We first taught a family that was super nice and ready to hear the Gospel. We taught the Restoration and the wife accepted baptism if she received an answer to her prayers. She said that her husband would as well because she is the one who runs the house around there (some things in human culture just don´t change from country to country).
The next reference we got was from a couple of recent converts. The husband had a friend at work who was going through a rough time at home and he suggested that he hear our message. His name is Gilmário and he is a dwarf. He has to live with his brother because of his height that restricts him from doing things normally. His brother is married and she treats Gilmário really badly. I could tell from the first time we taught him that he was hurting. He offered the closing prayer and he had forgotten to say "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." Which was okay because he fixed it afterwards, but he felt so embarrassed because he thought he had messed up. We haven´t been able to teach again yet, but I really want to help him out and let him know that God is extending His arm out to him to help him through this rough time.
The last thing that I will tell you about my week is that I got EXTREMELY sick on Saturday morning. I don´t know what happened because I was completely fine on Friday, but when I woke up I was practically already on my knees throwing up. I didn´t have any strength to get up and I was really worried about our English class that we have every Saturday afternoon. I got in the shower to try to wake myself up a little more and then went right back to bed with a fever and headache from the devil! Luckily, Elder Fernandes helped me get ready and we went to the Church to teach the class. It was probably one of the worst classes I´ve taught so far because I couldn´t stand up for more than five minutes at a time. I felt so bad because there was this little girl, Thais, that came for the first time and she had never taken an English class before. She was super nice and polite, and afterwards she told me that she liked it and she would bring her dad to the next class. It made me so much happier and really gave me the pick-me-up that I needed. The next morning, I saw her come to Church all alone! She made friends with the other young women and she loved Church! We went to her house that night and taught the Plan of Salvation to her family and they liked it so much that her dad said that we are more than welcome back again. He is a truck driver for some cookie company and as we were leaving, he filled our backpacks with cookies that he delivers. He sure knows how to sugar up the missionaries.
I looked back at my week this morning and thought to myself, 'what happened that I could really tell my family and friends about?' I heard that if we don´t have at least one good thing worth telling someone about everyday of our lives, we have wasted a day. I would like to say that I have been recognizing every good thing that I have been doing out here, but I would be lying. It´s been a rough few weeks and I have felt a definite lack of the Spirit because of one thing or another, but this week Heavenly Father really made His love known to me. Unfortunately, we sometimes get so overwhelmed on the fact that we aren´t having the success we´d like, or things aren´t necessarily going our way, and we ignore the small blessings that God puts in our path. This week, I tried much harder to put aside the selfishness and self-pity, and I saw so much happiness return to my life. This work is true. This Gospel is true. My Heavenly Father loves me and He has given me the best family in the world. Thanks for everything! All of your help and counsel is very much cherished. Have a great week!